Open Source Cars? Yes it works and the cars look great

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 13, 2012
Updated • Jan 16, 2013

When you think of open source, you probably think of software first and foremost, and maybe about open source devices as well. While it is linked mostly to software, Open Source is not limited to that field at all, as it is also a design philosophy.  But an open source car? How would that even work?

Take the site Local Motors for instance. It is an open source community of car designers, enthusiasts, engineers, modelers and fabricators who work in tandem to create the next generation of automobiles. Community members submit sketches, designs and ideas with the most popular ones rising to the top thanks to the site's community voting system.

The first car that that the company made came from a design of Art Center College of Design student Sangho Kim. The Rally Fighter is a street legal vehicle designed for off-road fun. It features a 6.2 liter V8 engine, 430 horsepower, and comes with a set of optional features that customers can buy on top of the regular car.  A comfort package sets you back another $3200 for instance, adding full carpet and navigation, leather trim accents, full integrated back up camera and power windows and door looks to the car.

open source car rally fighter

That is on top of the $74,900 that you pay for the car. What's interesting here is that you not only get the car for the price, but also what Local Motors calls a Total Build Experience. You have to build your own car. That may sound intimidating at first, especially if you do not have any experience in doing so. But Local Motors assists you with a team of experts that help you through the process. According to Local Motors, the process is open to long time car builders and first time builders, and all that is needed is at least one additional person to help you build the car.

The Rally Fighter is just the first in a line of vehicles and improvements created by the community. You can check out the Forge for ongoing projects and competitions.


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  1. Morely Dotes said on August 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    “the cars look great”

    Get your eyes checked, that is one FUGLY car!

    1. anony said on August 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      I think it looks great.

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    2. Power said on August 14, 2012 at 4:56 am

      oh look, this know want you to change your opinion about how things look.

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